Hi! Thank you very much for your feedback, it’s very encouraging !
Indeed that’s a lot of questions that I should have answered in the original post (I think I will edit the post later for this).
All done in Blender : I can say yes, 99% in Blender, I only did some very slight color corrections in Photoshop.
How many samples : A lot! The water uses a volume absorption shader which causes a lot of noise so I needed 3000 samples to be satisfied with how it looks. No denoiser because it appear that my graphic card does not support it (it makes Blender crash) but I should have been able to use it because I decided to go for a cloud rendering solution. Actually I won credits on fox renderfarm so this was a great opportunity to try it, no?
Did I use the ocean modifier : yes to create the main shape of the water, then I used two perlin noise in a bump node to add choppiness to the waves.
How many tris : I have absolutely no idea but there’s a lot! The rocks are initially a simple plane (4 vertices) with a 10 subdiv multires that I sculpted. Each time I do a project, I tend to try something new and this time I wanted to be more relaxed about optimization.
Maybe I had the seagulls scene from Nemo as an unconscious background inspiration during the making of this scene